Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vacation is over

I'm back after a many month hiatus.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Coalition forces target Special Groups leader, 49 criminals killed

BAGHDAD, IraqOct. 21, 2007

Coalition forces were engaged in a heavy firefight this morning killing an estimated 49 criminals during operations in Sadr City.

The operation’s objective was an individual reported to be a long time Special Groups member specializing in kidnapping operations. Intelligence indicates he is a well-known cell leader and has previously sought funding from Iran to carry out high profile kidnappings.

Upon arrival, the ground force began to clear a series of buildings in the target are and received sustained heavy fire from adjacent structures, to include automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades, or RPGs. Responding in self-defense, Coalition forces engaged, killing an estimated 33 criminals. Supporting aircraft was also called to engage enemy personnel maneuvering with RPGs toward the ground force, killing an estimated six criminals.

Upon departing the target area, Coalition forces continued to receive heavy fire from automatic weapons and RPGs and were also attacked by an improvised explosive device. Responding in self-defense, the ground force engaged the hostile threat, killing an additional estimated 10 combatants.

All total, Collation forces estimate that 49 criminals were killed in three separate engagements during this operation. Ground forces reported they were unaware of any innocent civilians being killed as a result of this operation.

“We continue to support the Government of Iraq in welcoming the commitment by Muqtada al-Sadr to stop attacks and we will continue to show restraint in dealing with those who honor his pledge. We will not show the same restraint against those criminals who dishonor this pledge by attacking security forces and Iraqi citizens,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. “Coalition forces will take the necessary action against these criminals to protect the Iraqi people against future terrorist acts.”


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Sunday, October 14, 2007

General Petraeus congratulates Bronze Star recipient

General David H. Petraeus, Commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq recently congratulated Army SSG Donald J. Harris II, 32nd Transportation Company, 541st CSSB following an Awards Ceremony in Bagdad. SSG Harris was awarded the Combat Action Badge and The Bronze Star. This highly decorated soldier is nearing the end of his second tour in Iraq, and will be returning with the rest of his unit to Fort Carson, Co. following a 15 month deployment supporting OIF. I am extremely proud of all our Soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, but SSG Harris stands out in my mind. Because he is my son. God Bless them all.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Missing weapons recovered near Iraqi home

Sgt. 1st Class Angela Mckinzie
2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) PAO
Multi-National Division – Center PAO

CAMP STRIKER, IraqOctober 11, 2007. Weapons that once belonged to a missing Soldier and two others who were killed in action were recovered outside of an Iraqi’s house in Fetoah Village, Iraq Oct. 9.

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., followed Concerned Local Citizens to the cache site just seven miles north of where 2ndBCT Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment were killed and kidnapped May 12.

The cache consisted of 28 blasting caps in their original packaging, 50 pounds of home made explosives, three 60mm mortar rounds, an AK-47 and matching rigged pouch, two U.S. M-4s (one with a M-203 grenade launcher attached), a single M-203 and a M-249 squad automatic weapon.

After finding the M-4s and the M-203, analysts checked each of the serial numbers to identify to whom they belonged.

The M-249 belonged to Spc. Alex Jimenez Jr., who was abducted by terrorists after his position was attacked May 12 in Qarghulli Village.

Currently, Jimenez and Pvt. Byron Fouty are classified as missing-captured.

One of the M-4s with the M-203 attached to it belonged to Sgt. Anthony Schoeber, who was killed in the same attack.

Another M-4 belonged to Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr., a Soldier who was classified as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown for 11 days after the May 12 attack until he was found dead near the Euphrates River.

The Soldiers’ identification cards and wallets were found in an al-Qaeda safe house in Samara, Iraq, in Multi-National Division –North’s area of operations, but these weapons are the first piece of physical evidence in the 2nd BCT’s area of operations.

During the search, Soldiers also discovered a man-made hide site near the house that the weapons were discovered.

During this latest search, nine locals who were in the area were detained and are being held for questioning.

The weapons that were found will be turned over to the Criminal Investigations Department for fingerprints and DNA samples.

2 BCT Soldiers will continue to patrol the area of operations in search of more evidence that can lead them to the missing Soldiers or the attackers.

This find comes only weeks before the 2nd BCT will be replaced by the 3rd BCT, 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., who will continue the search for the missing Soldiers and their attackers.

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